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  • Writer's pictureJulianna Carfaro

The New Norm: Adjusting to living in Rome

Now that classes have started everything is starting to fall into place. The daily routine of going to class and doing homework has helped my roommates and I feel more at home. We’ve all been adjusting to the big change in our own way. I personally think that the best way to adjust is by keeping busy. Between school, making new friends, and millions of places to explore, we’ll have plenty to keep us busy for the next 3 months.

The beginning of classes came as a surprise. With all the commotion and preparation of packing and getting ready to come here, I kind of forgot that studying abroad included the ‘study’ part. When you’re moving to a different country, school isn’t always the first think on your mind. But never the less I was excited to start my classes and meet my new professors at John Cabot. The first week of classes went smoothly and half the time it didn’t even feel like we were in school. The professors included roman and Italian information into all the curriculum to help keep the students engaged and excited about being abroad. Every hour on the hour, you’re reminded you’re in Rome by the nearest piazza’s singing church bells.

John Cabot’s many campuses are connected by the small cobblestone streets of Trastevere. I have never been so happy to have to walk 15 minutes to class every day. The other day my roommate Tori and I were on our way to class and there was a man playing the accordion. We looked at each other and laughed, the tune in our head fit the situation so perfectly. We walked over the Tiber River and made out way to class with big smiles on our faces. It’s so crazy to me that this is the new normal. This is how my life will be for the next 3 months. Pizza, wine, and live music. There is never a dull moment when you are walking through the backstreets of a Roman quaint town.

As the weekend rolled around, my roommates and I decided to explore our new city. We went to the Vatican and toured the beautiful Vatican Gardens. Although I had visited the Vatican before, this tour was unlike anything I have ever seen before. We had a small private tour that took us through all the little pathways of the gardens surrounding the Vatican. These gardens are home to all the past Popes, it is where they come to walk, think, and pray. The garden is full of beautiful paths decorated with fountains, statues, and flowers. Our tour guide filled our heads with important information about the reasoning and meaning behind all the ornate statues. The vistas from the top of the Vatican hill took my breath away.

After our leisurely walk through the garden we made our way into the Vatican Museum. We walked miles of halls filled with ancient artwork and sculptures. We couldn’t believe that all of these tremendous artworks were created by one single person by hand. The never ending halls of the Vatican Museum took us from ancient tapestries, sculptures, and paintings to modern depictions of Christ. After following the natural flow of traffic in the museum, we find ourselves walking into the Sistine Chapel. We were all giddy with excitement. This was one of Italy’s most famous artworks. And let me tell you, it held up to its reputation. The girls and I gazed up and the creation of man with tears in our eyes. The depictions were so realistic it seemed as though the angels would fall from the ceiling. Every inch of the chapel was painted with such detail. We found a place to sit and gazed up at the masterpieces until our necks hurt. Michelangelo really gave us a treat that day.

I love Rome. I have only been here for 3 weeks now, and it steals my heart every day. The eternal city is teaching me so much. Not only about the world around me, but about who I am. I never thought I would be as strong and independent as I am today. I love the new normal. I love the life I have this semester, and I can’t wait to see what other great adventures it brings my way.

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